I am starting off for maybe two of the most interesting months of my life. Travelling for eight weeks throughout the USA on the multinational program of Eisenhower Fellowships I have the chance to meet outstanding people, expand my network, get to know things I may have never heard of before.
Two months as Eisenhower fellow means also spending time with 23 other fellows from 23 nations all over the world with 23 personalities, 23 backgrounds and individual lives and 23 philosophies of how to live a good life. That is an incredible opportunity to broaden my mind. I will get a lot of inspiration from the other fellows and all the people I will be meeting along my trip. And by any chance I can give some inspiration and excitement back to them.
What will I do? I will try to follow an insight the British mathematician George Spencer Brown provided us with. He wrote about the „unmarked space“ which allows us to differentiate between „operation“ and „observation“. While observing I can’t be operating at the same time. Nevertheless it becomes difficult for the observer to observe that he or she is an observer. In the moment of observation I might forget my difference. But I know that it is there, that it matters and that I can learn from it. Or as the social scientist Gregory Bateson puts it in his definition of information as a „difference that makes a difference.“
These two months are about looking at different things and about looking at things differently. I will try to look into some windows of the skyscraper USA I had not known that it was worth taking a closer look at before. And some of the things I see I might like or dislike. In any case they will often surprise me. And they will leave a light on in my memory that there is something to remember because it makes a difference.